‘Sleeping councillor’ probe continues ... five months on

Coun Derek Forrest has had a complaint lodged against him for falling asleep during a council meeting which he denies

Coun Derek Forrest has had a complaint lodged against him for falling asleep during a council meeting which he denies

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A complaint about a councillor who is accused of snoozing during a meeting has not been resolved – five months on.

A councillor put forward a complaint in November about Leyland Coun Derek Forrest, who sits on South Ribble Council’s planning committee, claiming he had fallen asleep during a meeting about the Cuerden Strategic Site.

People used to complain about each other every week, it was part and parcel of being on the council, and the standards committee was something to be concerned about.

Coun Forrest

The council has confirmed there has been ‘no further update’ from the monitoring officer, and the standards committee chairman said the issue hadn’t been raised with him.

Coun Forrest, who denies the allegation, said that matters like this used to be taken much more seriously at South Ribble.

“I’m quite indifferent about it to it to be honest,” he said.

“But I suppose it does point really to the fact that in terms of the standards applied to councillors, they are toothless tigers. In the old days, we would have councillors having to defend themselves quite vigorously in public hearings, and that just hasn’t happened here.

“People used to complain about each other every week, it was part and parcel of being on the council, and the standards committee was something to be concerned about.

“It’s nowhere near as strict as it used to be.

“I hasten to say that I’ve not seen any obvious decline in standards at South Ribble – we have a bunch of upstanding, law-abiding councillors.”

Coun Warren Bennett, who made the complaint, did not want to comment on the fact the issue has still not been resolved.

In November, he said: “The least you can do when you’re representing residents is to stay awake.

“It was during an important meeting about the strategic plan, and it’s wholly unacceptable.”